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West Linn father victim in shooting

UPDATE: MEMORIAL SET

There will be a memorial service for Steven Forsyth on Monday, Dec. 17, at 4:30 p.m. at Rolling Hills Community Church. The public is welcome to attend and the service will be conducted by Willamette Christian Church.

The service will also be aired via a live webcast for those unable to attend. The church’s website (rollinghills.org) will have a link on the front page. Click the link and follow the prompts.

Citizens in West Linn, along with Clackamas County, are left staggering after a man opened fire in Clackamas Town Center Tuesday afternoon. One of the two victims was a West Linn father.by: SUBMITTED - STEVEN FORSYTH

Steven Forsyth, 45, of West Linn owned a marketing agency in Portland and formerly worked for Entercom Communications, which owns radio stations in the city. He is also a 1985 Lake Oswego High School graduate.

At the time of the shooting, he was at the mall where he owns a store with his wife, Carla Forsyth, and two children. He recently opened a kiosk, Coastoms, at the mall, selling handmade wooden coasters.

The Forsyth family released a statement Wednesday morning. It read:

“Steven Mathew Forsyth was a loving husband, father of two children, son, brother, uncle, youth sports coach and friend to the many people who had the privilege to meet him.

“Steve was one of the most passionate people with a true entrepreneurial spirit that drove him to start his business, Coastoms. He had a great sense of humor and a zest for life. He had vision and a belief in others that brought great joy and value to many lives.

“He will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Dave Rogoway, of Lake Oswego, knew Forsyth from working with him at Entercom. He called Forsyth a model father and husband, adding that he was “a really bright fellow” and involved with his children.

Several people at KPAM radio station also knew and worked with Forsyth. In fact, Terry Boyd, of Terry Boyd’s World, was visiting with Forsyth at his kiosk in the mall less than an hour before the shooting occurred.

Boyd had worked with Forsyth for 10 years at Entercom and was currently working on a new project with him. Boyd had stopped by the mall to check out the kiosk, which Forysth had opened just a few days prior.

“Steve is one of those people who without any effort at all makes you a better person,” Boyd said. “He’s just a great guy. He lights up the room and he always puts others before him.”

Boyd recalled his energy, spirit and drive.

“I never ever heard that guy utter a bad word or a negative comment,” Boyd said.

Boyd said Forsyth was active in his church and was a martial artist, and he suspects Forsyth was acting heroically during the shooting.

“Chances are pretty good he was doing the right thing,” he said.

KPAM former manager David Saxe of West Linn knew him for about 20 years.

“Steve was very well respected in the whole media community. He was energetic and passionate about life. He was a great family guy,” Saxe said. “It’s just very, very difficult to understand how this could happen.”

According to Saxe, Forsyth was dedicated to his son and stepdaughter, spending a lot of time coaching football and basketball.

Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts, during a Wednesday morning press conference, extended his condolences to the victims’ families.

“This was a heartbreaking tragedy by any standard,” Roberts said.

Clackamas Town Center Senior General Manager Dennis Curtis said, “Our hearts break for Clackamas County and the community.”

Bill Korach, Lake Oswego School District superintendent, was in his last year as principal at Lake Oswego High when Forsyth graduated in 1985. He recalled Forsyth as a “great kid.”

“He was a good contributor, he was very actively involved, he played basketball, it was just a huge loss. ... All of our kids were special, but he was definitely one of them. It’s just so tragic,” Korach said.

One of Forsyth’s children, a son, is an eighth-grader at Rosemont Ridge Middle School. According to Superintendent Bill Rhoades, the district offered extra counseling services at the school Wednesday, including safe rooms for students and opportunities to get extra support as needed.

“We are saddened by the loss our community has experienced,” Rosemont Ridge Middle School Principal Debi Briggs-Crispin said. “I was extremely touched by the incredible support from families, district personnel and our amazing staff and students. Staff and students were provided opportunities to process their emotions in a variety of ways with the support of community members, staff and district personnel. Students met with their homeroom teachers first thing in the morning where the teachers shared the facts of the situation and provided time for students to discuss their feelings. Students process grief in different ways and some were ready to return to their studies right away, while others accessed additional support through our district counseling team. I was so proud of our students and how they supported one another all day. They demonstrated great compassion and are looking for ways to support the Forsythe family in the future. I am proud to be a member of this amazing community. We all extend our warm thoughts and prayers to the Forsythe family.”

Offering additional support to students affected by the family’s loss, The Summit, a teen center in West Linn, opened up early Wednesday for the son and his friends and planned to stay open all evening.

According to police, the family wishes for privacy and declined to be interviewed.



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